Kicking Up Your Color...Selectively

While you can choose enhanced color saturation when using your digital camera via the Menu, this choice generally adds saturation to all colors at once. This might work fine for some subjects, but there are many ways to "juice up" selective colors later in the software. We'll work with two controls here, Hue/Saturation and Selective Color, both used as Adjustment Layers.


1) Here's the shot right out of the camera. This was photographed in the shade and the colors came out a bit flat. But the tropical colors and plants here almost beg for some enhanced saturation.


2) Rather than saturate all the colors at once, which is of course an option, we're going to work on some of the colors in the scene one at a time. That way we can dial up the color saturation to exactly the degree we want. The first step is opening an Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation. When you open this control your first option is Master, which will affect all the colors equally. But to work with select colors use the pulldown menu in the dialog box and choose each we've chosen Blue.


3) Here's what the shutters look like when we boost the Blue.


4) The next area we want to effect is the clapboard wall. Here we chose a Red in the Hue/Saturation dialog box as an Adjustment Layer.


5) Here's what it looks like when we boost the red.


6) Now we'll take another tack to affect the green. We open another Adjustment Layer, this time Selective Color, and choose Green.


7) Here's what happens when we boost the green.


8) Here's the Layers palette showing the different steps.

So next time you want to play with color, think selectively.

Camera: Canon PowerShot S60
Software: Adobe Photoshop 7

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